This kimchi beef noodle soup recipe is made with your choice of noodles, veggies, and a richly seasoned sesame kimchi broth. Stovetop, Instant Pot and Crock-Pot options included!
When we were living in Barcelona, our flat happened to be a block away from my absolute favorite Korean restaurant in the city. And on cold winter days when I returned home chilled to the bone after walking all around town running errands, their kimchi soups were always some of my favorite ways to warm up. I tended to alternate between soondubu jjigae or yukgaejang or their various Korean ramens — basically anything that came with their richly-flavored kimchi broths. And to say those soups sparked joy would be an understatement. I absolutely loved them.
Well, fast forward to our first winter now living back in the States, and I have to admit I’ve been missing Barcelona and these particular kimchi soups lately something fierce. So I’ve been experimenting with making my own kimchi broths here at home and have recently landed on this one as a favorite. I want to note that it’s just loosely inspired by some of the soups I have tried, so if you’re looking for an authentic recipe for a traditional Korean dish, please turn instead to any of the talented Korean food bloggers out there. But if you’re looking for an incredibly cozy and flavorful soup to try this winter, this broth is loaded up with lots of fresh kimchi, spices, garlic, ginger and sesame. And when slow-cooked with beef until it’s fall-apart-tender, lots of mushrooms (plus the veggies from the kimchi), and your choice of noodles, this soup has quickly become one of my new favorite comfort foods. It’s so cozy and flavorful!
I’ve included options below for how to make this soup using either the Instant Pot, Crock-Pot or a simple pot on the stovetop — all great options. Feel free too to add whatever other types of veggies and noodles (or rice!) that you love best here. And if you feel like adding an egg on top, that’s never a bad idea either.
Let’s simmer up a big pot of soup together, friends!
Kimchi Beef Noodle Soup Recipe | 1-Minute Video
Kimchi Beef Noodle Soup Ingredients
Here are a few notes about the beef noodle soup ingredients that you will need to make this recipe:
Beef: I used beef chuck roast for this recipe, which becomes extra-tender and easy to shred when slow cooked. But feel free to use any other slow-cooking-friendly cuts of beef (bottom round, top round, short ribs, etc) that you prefer.
Veggies: I used a mix of onion and mushrooms (shiitakes, baby bellas or a mix of the two) in this soup.
Kimchi: We’ll use a generous amount of cabbage kimchi (2 cups), which adds a rich depth of umami, tangy, and spicy savory flavors to the broth.
Seasonings: In addition to the kimchi, we will season the broth with gochujang, gochugaru, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil. If you are sensitive to heat, I recommend beginning with slightly less of the gochujang and gochugaru, and then adding more to taste if desired.
Noodles: Feel free to use whatever type of noodles you love best here. I used ramen noodles (2 basic packages without the seasoning packets), but you could also use rice noodles, udon noodles, egg noodles, or whatever you prefer.
Green onions: I recommend a generous sprinkling of thinly-sliced green onions as a topping!
3 Ways To Make This Soup
As I mentioned above, you have three different options for how to make this soup! You can either choose to use the:
Stovetop: Sear the beef and then simmer with the broth in a large Dutch oven, then finish with noodles. (~1 hour 30 mins)
Crock-Pot: Slow cook the beef with the broth in a large Crock-Pot, then finish with noodles. (~4 to 8 hours)
Instant Pot: Pressure cook the beef more quickly with the broth in an Instant Pot, then finish with noodles. (~1 hour 15 mins)
Here are a few more variations that you’re welcome to try with this beef ramen recipe:
Use different veggies: Add in any other soup-friendly veggies you love best, such as baby bok choy, bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, leeks, spinach or zucchini.
Use rice: Add cooked white or brown rice to the soup instead of noodles.
Add an egg: Top each bowl of soup with a soft-boiled, fried or poached egg, or drizzle and stir whisked eggs directly into the soup to create egg ribbons (like with egg drop soup).
Make it vegetarian/vegan: Use tofu (or extra veggies) in place of the beef to make this soup vegetarian and vegan.
Make it gluten-free: Use your favorite kind of gluten-free noodles and a certified GF brand of gochujang to make this soup gluten-free.
More Cozy Soup Recipes To Try
Looking for more comforting soup recipes to try this time of year? Here are a few of our favorites:
Sear the meat.Pat the beef dry and season with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add half of the beef (or however much will fit in a single layer) and cook undisturbed for 1-2 minutes or until the bottom side is seared and browned and releases easily from the pan. Flip the beef and repeat until seared on all sides. Transfer the cooked beef to a clean plate. Repeat with the remaining beef and 1 tablespoon oil, then transfer the cooked beef to the clean plate and set aside.
Sauté.Add the remaining oil and onion to the stockpot and stir to combine. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned.
Simmer.Add the water, kimchi, gochujang, gochugaru, ginger, soy sauce, seared beef, and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low (or whatever temperature is needed to maintain a low-simmer), cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the beef is tender and shreds easily.
Finish.Transfer the beef to a cutting board and stir the sesame oil and ramen noodles into the hot broth. Use two forks to shred the beef into bite-sized pieces, then stir it back into the soup. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the ramen noodles are cooked.
Serve.Serve immediately, garnished with lots of green onions, and enjoy!
Noodles: Just a reminder that the noodles (ramen, or whatever type you choose to use) will likely continue to soak up lots of broth the longer they sit in the hot soup. So I recommend adding the noodles *just* before serving.
Crock-Pot (Slow Cooker) Instructions: Combine all of the ingredients except the noodles in a large slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and slow cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low, until the beef shreds easily with a fork. Continue with Steps 4-5 listed above.
Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Instructions: Combine all of the ingredients except the noodles in a pressure cooker and stir to combine. Cover and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural release, then a quick release. Continue with Steps 4-5 listed above.